Saturday, March 11, 2006

GPL and Open Source

Recently in one meeting their is an small discussion abt the Open Source Software. Although most of the guys in industry debate on that. Example Open Source is cheap useful so and so . But their is lots of hidden thing in it.

The "classic" licenses, GPL, LGPL, BSD, and MIT, were the most commonly used for open-source software. But what was it . Why should we bother abt it its an open source and free ? Such questions usually comes in 90% of people working in IT Industry.

But boss nothing is free in this word except of your mother love and affection. :)
After Blacberry/RIM case most of the organizations started doing audits on their envoirnment for use of Open source softwares. Have you ever paid attention in GPL publised in most of the Open Source Softwares.

I am able to dig down few of the important facts and questions which u should concerned abt. For your remark enclosed last four lines of GPL
"This General Public License does not permit incorporating your program into proprietary programs. If your program is a subroutine library, you may consider it more useful to permit linking proprietary applications with the library. If this is what you want to do, use the GNU Library General Public License instead of this License."

Microsoft calls attention to the implications of the GPL when an individual or organization creates derivative works using GPL-licensed code. Microsoft asserts that the GPL requires the release of both the derivative and original code. According to Microsoft, using GPL-licensed code as a basis for projects forces a company to make all derivative code available to the public, raising the risk that a firm could divulge trade secrets.

However, Microsoft's critique of the GPL ignores the GPL "nonrelease" provision, which states that private or internal use of GPL code in a derivative product does not require a company to release the resulting source code to the public. The GPL comes into play only when GPL code is incorporated into a derivative product that is made available or sold to the public. Any company planning to release software that incorporates GPL-licensed code into a single, unitary product must release the new code under the terms of the GPL.

Microsoft's critique raises the issues of proportionality and fairness; is it reasonable to require the release of a huge amount of new code when only a few lines of GPL-licensed code were incorporated into a new, derivative product? Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's director, responds that companies cannot incorporate Microsoft Word source code into their publicly released products under any circumstances, including under the provisions of Microsoft's "shared source" venture.

The GPL provides an opportunity for developers to contribute to the growing body of freely available, GPL-licensed code, but they are not under any compulsion to do so. Developers that do not wish to contribute to the free software movement should simply refrain from incorporating GPL-licensed code in their products.

The above summary is not intended to serve as legal advice. If you're thinking about using GPL-licensed code in a publicly released derivative product, consult an attorney to ensure that your use of the code conforms to the terms of the GPL.

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